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In my Week 1 Rankings, I mentioned how it’s risky to start rookies in their first career game. The ceiling can be high if a rookie DB is underestimated by an opposing QB, but the floor is also low if a first-year LB can’t adjust to the speed of the pro game. That held true for the most part, as several rookies looked very impressive last weekend, while others… well others didn’t even see the field.

So while the IDP studs were predictably solid in Week 1, I’m keeping the focus primarily on the young guns again this week, in the first installment of IDP Adds/Drops/Rising/Falling:

Adds

Sheldon Richardson – My favorite DL in the draft this year gets the benefit of lining up opposite Muhammad Wilkerson every week. He made the most of it against Tampa, putting up 3 solos and 4 assists, while getting in on half a sack. Despite their success on Sunday, the Jets will be trailing a lot this year, giving Sheldon plenty of tackle opportunities as other teams try to run out the clock.

Erin Henderson – All preseason we expected that Desmond Bishop would emerge as the LB to own opposite Chad Greenway. Enter Henderson and his 11 total tackles to go with a pick of Matt Stafford. I’d still expect Bishop to find his way into the starting lineup at some point, but Henderson seems like the clear #2 LB in Minnesota.

Duke Ihenacho – The second year safety out of San Jose State brought the extra cheese in Week 1, racking up 11 solo tackles, along with an assist and 3 passes defended. I would be shocked if he was rostered in any league before last week, so he’s worth a pickup if you’re planning on streaming DBs.

Drops

Arthur Brown/Matt Elam – The game was a blowout, the starters didn’t look like anything special, and these two rookies still only played a combined 13 snaps. I’m all-in on both in the long term, but if you have a smaller roster, I wouldn’t have a problem letting them loose right now. After all, if they’re not on the field, what can Brown (and Elam) do for you?

Jairus Byrd – I hate wasting roster spots on injured DBs, and Byrd’s situation is even more complicated than that. Whether his plantar fasciitis is as serious as he says or not, it’s clear that he wants out of Buffalo ASAP. And honestly, who can blame him? I spent 4 years in upstate New York and pretty much every NFL city is more desirable than Buffalo. Except Cleveland, obviously. The only upside of the Byrd situation is that Aaron Williams racked up 9 total tackles while filling in for the disgruntled safety. If you’re planning on wasting a bench spot on Byrd for the next month (or two…or three…) then you’d better have an insanely deep roster or a very flexible IR slot.

Rising

Nick Fairley – He looked prime for a breakout this season, and Week 1 was not a bad start. Fairley racked up 2 solos and 3 assists along with 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. That’s the kind of stat line Detroit was looking for when they drafted him 13th overall in 2011. Being flanked by a murderer’s row of Ndamukong Suh, Israel Idonije and Ziggy Ansah (aka Spell-Check’s Nightmare) doesn’t hurt, but I expect Fairley to make a statement this year.

Kiko Alonso/Alec Ogletree – These two rookies stood out among all the other rookie LBs, and their owners have to be pleased. Alonso had 9 total tackles along with a forced fumble that he recovered, and was just all over the field against the Pats on Sunday. Ogletree had 7 solos, and with the release of Jo-Lonn Dunbar, he appears to be the guy to own next to Laurinaitis. It was great to see such a great start to these two careers, hopefully they keep it up.

Eric Reid/Tyrann Mathieu – Same story for these two DBs. They were overlooked in most drafts in favor of Cyprien, Vaccaro and Elam, but Reid and Honey Badger put up the most impressive Week 1 numbers. Reid had 7 solos, and picked off Aaron Rodgers, which I’m sure is the first time that’s happened for a rookie making his debut. And as for Honey Badger, well this gif really says it all. Amazing hustle on a TD-saving force fumble, to go along with 7 solos himself. This crop of rookie DBs has the potential to be really special.

Falling

Geno Atkins – Zilch. Nada. Bubkes. It’s not like Geno was the only stud DT to get shut out in tackles (I’m looking at you Ndamukong), but he was the only one consistently ranked in the top 10 for DLs. I’ve been low on Atkins since July from an IDP perspective, as he commands and receives a double team on nearly every play. I loved him as a DL2, and I think he puts up stats next week against Pitt sans Pouncey, but if he’s your DL1 I would start looking for reinforcements.

D.J. Williams/Jon Bostic – Brian Urlacher patrolled the middle in Chicago for over a decade, producing solid if not spectacular IDP results when healthy. Logic would dictate that the person takes over for him will reap the same benefits based on the scheme and the surrounding personnel. Unfortunately right now, that person is a people. Until either Williams or Bostic emerges as the three-down option at MLB (and I believe it will be Bostic by the end of the year) it’s difficult to start either of them.

T.J. Ward – Many people loved Ward this year as a possible DB1, while I had him as my 25th DB overall. Sunday’s game against Miami showed why, as he just doesn’t rack up stats on a consistent enough basis for me to comfortably rely on him. Since the start of 2011, he’s had fewer than 5 total tackles in 54% of the games he’s played. With so many other options out there, Ward just isn’t DB1 material to me.

Here are my Week 2 rankings:

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

37 Responses

  1. nyydj2 says:
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    Who would you drop at LB? Roach on Oakland or Angerer?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @nyydj2:

      I’d drop Angerer, the best is yet to come for Roach as teams run the clock out against Oakland.

  2. Jeremy Handrup says:
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    Would you start Julius Thomas or Torrey Smith at wr3/te this week? Thanks

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Jeremy Handrup:

      I think Thomas is extremely overrated after last Thursday, so I’m going Smith. The Ravens are going to want to make a statement at home, and I think that includes their only proven option at WR.

  3. nyydj2 says:
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    Thanks for the quick answer Kevin, much appreciated. I’m really weak at WR in a deep 16 team IDP league and looking to strike some upside gold already, ala T.Y. Hilton last year. Does Kenny Stills on N.O. float your boat at all?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @nyydj2:

      I love Kenny Stills this year. The ball will definitely be spread out in NOLA, but Stills will have some big games. I think of him as a rich man’s Devery Henderson, so basically a poor man’s Hilton.

  4. eSSduBBz says:
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    Hey Kev, was wonderin… Not seeing much love for Trent Cole anywhere I look. He qualifies as DL and LB in my league, which seems like a huge boon considering bye week and FAAB/transaction limit implications. Thinking about dropping my C. Michael stash for him. Your thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @eSSduBBz:

      I haven’t seen him as a DL in any of my leagues, what site are you using?

      If he does have DL eligibility, then I’m all about him. He looked great against the Skins, not overwhelmed at all by the 2-point stance. I’d have no problem dropping Michael for him, and I’d put him as a DL2 right now.

      • eSSduBBz says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: My IDP league is Yahoo. He’s technically listed as -> “Trent Cole Phi – LB,DE” <-. Thanks again Kev.

  5. tony G says:
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    Hello kevin need some help don’t know who to start
    Boldin vs Seattle
    Nicks vs Denver

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @tony G:

      As awesome as Week 1 was, I don’t see Boldin repeating that against the Seattle secondary. I’d stick with Nicks while he’s healthy.

  6. Zandy says:
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    Now that Sudfeld is out too

    Pick 2: Thompkins, Steve Smith or Stevie Johnson

    Feels like Thompkins has to get more than 14 targets…

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Zandy:

      Sorry that I’m late on this one, but I would have taken the Steves (easy to say now!). I’m avoiding the Pats right now until I see some consistency.

  7. Psychedelic says:
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    What do you think of Kenny Vacarro ? He had a decent game in his debut, I have Burnett as well so I’m a little short at S. it’s a dynasty league(with contracts) so I stashed DJ Swearinger but he wasn’t really that impressive in his game. Do you like these guys long term? Eric Reid is on waivers but Swearinger is on a rookie contract so it’s cheap to stash him, would you add him over Vacarro?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Psychedelic:

      Tough calls here, especially with Burnett banged up. Long-term, I like Vaccaro > Reid > Swearinger, but the contract complicates things. If you’re in win-now mode, I’d drop Swearinger for Reid, but if you’re rebuilding then the cheap contract is probably too good to get rid of.

      • Psychedelic says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Ya it’s a little tricky, I saw some people were really high on Swearinger long term so I took a flyer on him but wasn’t expecting to have to use him this season. I ended up scooping up Reid since I’m in win now mode, although I have a really good roster of young guys so I feel good about my long term potential. Thanks for the advice I love your articles, great IDP info/advice, definitely some of the best out there!

        • Psychedelic says:
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          @Psychedelic: Oh ya I forgot to mention I only had Vacaro on a one year contract compared to Swearinger was a 3year rookie contract. And adding FA is only 1 year contract unless their dropped from another team onto waivers, then you absorb that remaining contract. So I added Reid for Vacarro since I figure his potential this year is a little better and I still have the opportunity to get Vacarro back in the offseason.

          • Kevin Kumpf

            Kevin Kumpf says:
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            @Psychedelic:

            With that contract situation I think you made a good call. Reid/Vaccaro will be similar this year so if their contracts are the same, you can ride the hot hand so to speak. I hope the Swearinger stash works out for you, he’s got the potential.

  8. Byron from Austin says:
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    Thanks Kev! appreciate the deeper rankings, and some love for Eric Reid! Good luck this week

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Byron from Austin:

      I aim to please! This year’s rookie DBs should be fun to watch for years, as long as they don’t get suspended by Goodell for decapitating a receiver.

  9. Clint (aka Pablo Death) says:
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    So, on a non-fantasy related defensive player question, what did you think of the Suh and Matthews “dirty plays?” Being a Pack fan, I had flashbacks to Sapp putting one of our OL on IR during a game down in Tampa years back with his famous “put on a jersey!” taunt to Sherman after a nearly identical interception of Favre and I don’t recall him getting fined for it. And the Matthews one on Kap REALLY frustrates me because with a mobile QB being a yard or so from the marker, and Matthews having already left his feet to try to stop the potential stretching for the marker, I’m confused what people thought Matthews could have done differently except wrap his arms up and pull him down regardless of where they were when it occurred. He wasn’t sure if Kap was going to extend or not when he left his feet to tackle him so how is that a dirty play?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Clint (aka Pablo Death):

      These two issues are a bit different to me, as the NFL publicly announced that they would crack down on the Suh-type hits during the offseason (and his reputation obviously precedes him). The amount of the fine is a bit excessive, but these guys are all insanely rich, and the league apparently wants to make an example of Suh.

      As for Matthews, that gets a bit more complicated. I agree with your point that CK could easily have spun back towards the middle of the field and left Matthews in the dust, so Clay needed to make absolutely sure he was going out. Having said that, if Aaron Rodgers was scrambling on a 3rd down and Aldon Smith did the same thing, you might be thinking a little differently. QBs are the money-makers for the league, and they make the game better for the fans, so unfortunately the league has to limit the violence against them, even if it’s unfair. I think people calling the hit dirty are referring to Clay dragging him to the ground waaaay out of bounds, which I can agree with. But just ensuring that CK went out of bounds is Matthews’ job, so I have no problem with his initial intent.

  10. George says:
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    Hey Kevin – Thanks for doing the weekly IDP rankings. Serious question -

    I have Wake manning my DE slot this week (for obvious reasons) but for the life of me, I am having a difficult time deciding who to play at my DL slot. Based on your rankings, you have Peppers ahead of Mario Williams and Robert Quinn.

    Initially, I did have Peppers starting but am still considering Quinn because of what he did last week and because Peppers reportedly has been off and on this week at practice even though I like his matchup in a divisional game and because Chris Long is listed as questionable even though Rotoworld is reporting that he is probably going to play this week.

    Let me know what you think if you could…..

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @George:

      The Peppers/Quinn/Williams problem is a good one to have for your DL2. I am leaning Peppers this week, but any of them is a good option if they’re healthy. With this crew, the “if they’re healthy” is a huge caveat, so Quinn actually carries the least risk at this point. I’m still inclined to start Peppers if he plays, but I have no issue with playing it safe with Quinn.

      • George says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: And he has a defensive line of Watt, Justin Smith and Greg Hardy……

  11. George says:
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    Thanks Kevin…..That is my line of thinking as well. I am playing against the team who I beat in the league Super Bowl and am favored by 11 points or so which means that I will need every point to win this matchup. I agree with your sentiment….If Peppers is healthy, then I like his upside this week against the Vikings and if he is not healthy and is going to play limited snaps, then I am going to roll with Quinn again this week considering the issues of the Falcons offensive line.

  12. FORMAT: 14 team, deep 22 man rosters, IDP and PPR redraft league.

    IDP ROSTER: We start 6 IDPs – 2 LB, 1 DB, 1 DL, 2 D (flex). Given the tackle oriented scoring below, I like rostering LBs and mixing /matching based on match-ups.

    SCORING: Solo Tackle (1 pt), Assist Tackle (1/2 pt), Tackle for Loss (1 pt), Sack (3 Pts), Int (3 Pts), Fumble Forced (2 Pts), Fumble Recovery (2 Pts), Passes Defended (1 pt), Safety (2 Pts), Block Kick (2 Pts), Def. Touchdown (6 Pts)

    LB – Derrick Johnson (KC)
    LB – Donald Butler (SD)
    DL – Robert Quinn (STL)
    DB – Morgan Burnett (GB)
    D – Perry Riley (WAS)
    D – Mychal Kendricks (PHI)
    BENCH – Demario Davis (NYJ)

    Question 1 – Curtis Lofton (NO) just became available and cleared waivers. Would you swap him for Demario or is Demario’s upside too tempting? I love that DD plays on sub packages and also will see a ton of field with that disgusting NYJ offense. Most experts in pre-season had Lofton higher, but he strikes me as a LB2 at best and Demario could have LB1 upside, which is why I drafted him late… Thoughts?

    Question 2 – Not IDP related, but I’ve gotten absolutely crushed in the RB department already:
    David Wilson – RB 1
    Shane Vereen – IR
    Chris Ivory – Benched, not available WK 2
    Vick Ballard – IR, dropping
    Andre Brown – IR

    Suffice to say, pretty sad times for this crew and with Ballards news coming out today, It’s already a desperation play in Week 2.
    So, of these gross back-ups, which do you like best to maybe give me 6-8 Pts this week? (1 pt PPR), 10 yds rushing / 1 pt, 15 yds receiving / 1 pt, touchdown / 6 pts.
    Brace yourself….:best available for my RB2 slot this week:

    Donald Brown
    Justin Forsett
    Robert Turbin
    Ronnie Brown
    James Starks

    Appreciate the advice

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @El Burro:

      Thanks for the detailed post, makes my answers much easier.

      For Question 1, you have a nice corps of LBs already, so I would aim for the upside of Davis over Lofton. The Jets D has looked legit so far, and I expect Davis to take a major step toward IDP greatness this year. Lofton disappointed in Week 1, which likely led to his dropping in your league, but I don’t think he’s going to show us anything we haven’t seen before from him. If Johnson or Butler gets hurt, then Lofton’s stability might be more appealing, but for now I’d stick with the upside of Davis.

      For Question 2, ouch. I think you’ll be okay with Wilson within a week or two, and I personally love Ivory, but otherwise you’re in a tough spot. Of the options out there, I’d go with Ronnie, as SD seems to be using a true committee at RB, which guarantees him some carries/receptions. I’d put Donald Brown second, because Indy used the kid gloves on Bradshaw last week, and they might not want to expose him to a full workload even without Ballard. But Ronnie would be my choice, good luck.

  13. Thanks, Kevin

    I tend to agree. For me, its also between Donald and Ronnie. May pick up both. My issue with Ronnie is the Woodhead presence.

    Of the 2, I like Ronnie’s match up as well cause I can see SD getting throttled (traveling east, playing uptempo PHI offense with a shotty defense) and then having to play catch up in 2nd half. Mathews defers to Ronnie in passing downs, 3rd downs and 2 min offense. Almost looked like a 3 headed monster with Woodhead in mix too.

    Talking in circles but its close for me too on Donald cause they are babying Bradshaw like you mentioned. Thx

  14. Mcbainus says:
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    With Burnett not confirmed as starting, would you start McCourty over him at this point in the day?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @Mcbainus:

      Yes, Burnett is inactive, get him out of your lineup fo sho.

  15. Mcbainus says:
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    Thanks man. Where you get your news? I can’t find ANYTHING saying he’s ruled inactive this week (which is why I come to you…)

  16. TysonFrozenChicken says:
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    What happened to Nick Roach yesterday? When was the last time a starting 4-3 MLB recorded no stats? Did he leave with an injury? He’s in a photo with the AP game recap tackling someone (that wasn’t recorded for some reason), so he at least played. What’s your take on him going forward?

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @TysonFrozenChicken:

      Honestly, I’m as shocked as you are. Like the rest of America, I wasn’t about to sit through that Oak/Jax game, but now I wish I did to see what in the hell happened there. I was ready to go all-in on Roach, and I still like him, but he can’t be throwing up goose eggs. Apparently he rolled into MJD, causing his injury so this might just be a case of fantasy karma. I’m going to write about him this week, but I’d hold off on buying for now.

  17. JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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    Got a question for you man. Would appreciate your help. I quite possibly had one of the worst fantasy football days a team could have yesterday. I lost not one, not two, but three rb to injury ( SJax, Lacy, Bush)…to make matters worse Branch got hurt, and word is he is done for the season and or has a significant lower leg injury. Either way, I obviously need a Safety…it’s 14 teams, and we starts 8 IDPs…so there isn’t much out there. These are the highest scoring options through week 2 available for pick up.

    Earl Thomas
    Jamarca Sanford
    Aaron Williams
    Steve Gregory
    Major Wright
    Nate Allen
    Donte Whitner

    Some others available as well are…

    Yeremiah Bell
    Reggie Nelson
    Daniel Manning

    I honestly have no clue here, and as you can see there really aren’t any “sure fire” options available. Any help or insight you can provide is greatly appreciated.

    • Kevin Kumpf

      Kevin Kumpf says:
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      @JoeMorgan’sMustache:

      Tough luck man, that is a rough week. The safest option here is Bell. He’s been consistent for years, and that doesn’t figure to change as long as he’s healthy. My runner-up in terms of consistency would be Thomas, but his opportunities figure to be limited by the quality of the defense around him.

      If you want to go boom/bust, and that’s not a bad strategy for DBs, then Williams and Sanford are good options. Even in a 14-teamer, there are always productive, if not necessarily consistent, DBs out there.

      So really it depends how much risk you want to take. Considering how banged up your RBs are, it might be worth shooting for the moon with Williams.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Kevin Kumpf: Thanks for the response/recommendations. Gonna roll with the boom/bust option in Williams and see if he can keep racking up the tackles.

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